By Leslie Ann Aquino
Aside from relief goods, Marawi residents –displaced and shaken by the ongoing violence around them–are now “looking for love, for someone to trust.”
Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle asked everyone to pray for the people in Marawi affected by the conflict. “Let us pray for our brethren in Marawi, they may have not experienced a super typhoon but they are now encountering a different kind of humanitarian crisis, not brought by typhoon, but by violence,” he said.
“We have experienced trials, storms in our lives, and we have many brethren Christians or not who are now looking for love, for someone to trust,” Tagle said.
His Eminence said these people bear “heavy emotional baggage” that’s why they need people who will listen to their stories and to whom they can unload the pain and anxiety they feel because of the violence in Marawi.
.Tagle visited Yolanda survivors in Basey town in Samar last June 1 to close the Catholic Church’s three-year Yolanda rehabilitation program. He also presided at a holy mass at the St. Michael de Archangel Parish in Basey.
The cardinal met with the representatives of Yolanda-affected communities in Samar, Leyte and Eastern Samar wherein he cited the importance of resiliency and sustainability in preparation for future calamities, which is among the advocacies of Caritas.
Tagle announced that Caritas Internationalis has appointed Caritas Asia, which includes NASSA/Caritas Philippines, as the global lead in disaster response and reduction following the success of the Haiyan response in the country.
Tagle also visited the livelihood projects in Guirang in Basey as well as checked the Caritas relocation site for Yolanda survivors, including its solid waste management project in the communities of Bacubac and Rawis both in Basey, respectively.
He visited the Pope Francis Village, an in-city housing relocation project for 600 Yolanda families living in danger zones in Tacloban city.
The Catholic Church through NASSA/Caritas Philippines and other Caritas Internationalis member organizations have already helped 1.8 million people affected by Yolanda in the past three years, with funds amounting to more than P3.2 billion.